What Should Patients Understand About The Dental Implant Procedure?

Tooth loss can be frightening, even if it's planned, as in the case of tooth extractions. When you're missing a tooth, you may be embarrassed by your smile. You may also find it hard to talk or chew. Luckily, dental implants can be used to restore missing teeth. Most patients have questions about getting dental implants. Here are four things that dental patients should understand about the dental implant procedure:

1. Dental implants can last a lifetime.

Dental implants can last a lifetime when they're cared for properly. When you choose to get a dental implant, an oral surgeon will place an implant rod beneath your gums and into your jawbone. As your jawbone heals around the implant, it will become a permanent part of your body. A prosthesis made of sturdy dental ceramic will be attached to the implant rod to complete the procedure. If the prosthesis eventually wears out, a new one can be attached to your existing dental implant.

2. The dental implant procedure is painless.

The dental implant procedure is a type of oral surgery, but patients don't have to worry about discomfort. You will feel no pain during your surgery. Your dentist will inject a local anesthetic into your mouth before starting the procedure. During the implant process, you may feel pressure on your jaw, but you should not feel pain or discomfort. If you're particularly worried about the pain, you can choose to have general anesthesia instead. General anesthesia will allow you to sleep through the surgery.

3. Some discomfort can be expected during recovery.

Once the local anesthesia wears off, patients can expect to feel some pain following their dental implant procedure. Fortunately, your doctor can prescribe painkillers that will help you manage your discomfort. By taking pain medication on schedule, before you think you need it, you can keep your discomfort under control. Most people begin to feel better within a week after their dental implant procedure.

4. The dental implant procedure can be performed in a single session.

Traditionally, the dental implant procedure requires at least two appointments. During the first appointment, your dental implant is placed in your mouth. Your dentist will then send you home to heal, and you will return to have the prosthesis attached to your implant. However, if you desire fewer appointments, you may be able to have the entire procedure completed in a single sitting. This option is ideal for people who have a fear of the dentist and would like to minimize their exposure.

For more information about implants, contact a local dentist.